Vermont wildlife officials are keeping an eye on the deer population near the Quebec border after the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease was reported in the province.
The state Fish & Wildlife Department says CWD was detected by Canadian officials in a captive red deer herd within 100 miles of the border with Vermont. Officials say they will monitor the movement of deer across the border, especially those taken by hunters.
Mark Scott, wildlife director at the agency, said CWD is the “primary threat” to Vermont’s deer herd. State law regulates the importation of deer and elk carcasses from 23 states and three Canadian provinces. Violators can receive a fine of up to $1,000 and lose their hunting and fishing licenses for one year.
“Hunters bringing deer or elk from any of the CWD-listed states or provinces into or through Vermont simply have to get them processed according to the regulation before entering Vermont,” Scott said in a statement.
CWD — a fatal disease of the brain and nervous system — can be spread through deer urine, feces and saliva. Infected fluids in the soil can remain a threat for decades.